How to Create a Default Presentation

Normally when you start PowerPoint, you can choose between creating a new blank presentation or a presentation based on one of the included templates. But suppose the default blank presentation is simply too boring for words (suppose? SUPPOSE? It IS too boring for words!). And further suppose that you want to base all new presentations on a template of your own design automatically. You can. Magic? No, just a matter of knowing a simple little trick: PowerPoint’s “blank” presentation is actually a template file; if you create a replacement for it–one that uses your own custom formatting–it will use your template in place of the default blank presentation.

Here’s how: Start PowerPoint and open a new presentation. It’ll save some work if you base it on an existing template that’s fairly close to what you want to end up with for your custom template. Set the defaults you want to include with each new presentation. You can set defaults for Slide Size and Orientation (File, Page Setup); color scheme; colors for fill, line, shadow, and text; text styles; the formatting for Title and Text placeholders on the Slide Master; and so on. And of course, you can include any background graphics you want on the Slide and Title Masters.

Once you’ve got everything just the way you want it, choose File, Save As. Select Design Template (*.pot) in the Save As Type list box. Name the presentation

Blank Presentation.pot

and click Save. PowerPoint will automatically choose the correct folder for this file, so let it; if you change the folder, it may not be able to locate and use it later.

Now close the file and choose File, New. One of the available templates in the General tab of the New Presentation dialog box will be Blank Presentation.pot. That’s YOUR new Blank Presentation.pot. Choose it and enjoy your new default template.